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Metal mezuzah found postwar and used by a Polish Jewish survivor

Object | Accession Number: 1993.11.1

Metal mezuzah found and used by Israel Miedzyrzecki (later Israel Nahari) after Warsaw was liberated in January 1945 and his family was able to come out of hiding and re-establish a home. He brought and used it as the family moved to Łódź, then Munich, Germany, and finally to Israel in 1947. The Torah states that every doorpost in a Jewish home should display a mezuzah klaf, a small parchment scroll inscribed with two prayers. The scroll is enclosed in a case and attached to the right doorpost to serve as a reminder of the covenant of faith and a notice of an observant Jewish home. Israel and his family, wife Rivka, and children Stela, Benjamin, Mordecai, and Genia, lived in Warsaw during the German occupation which began in September 1939. They were forced into the Jewish ghetto in October 1940. In July 1942, the Germans began mass deportations of Jews to Treblinka killing center. Israel was arrested in September, but bribed a policeman to return home. Stela and her husband Yitzhak Blachowicz were sent to Treblinka. In late 1942, Benjamin, who was in the resistance, persuaded Israel, Rivka, and Genia to join him in hiding outside the ghetto. In summer 1943, Mordecai was killed by the Germans. During the Warsaw Polish Uprising, August - October 1944, Israel, Rivka, and Genia were separated from Benjamin and went to Opoczno to live with a Polish family. They sent a message to Benjamin through the underground, and the family was reunited after the liberation of Warsaw on January 16, 1945. They lived in Warsaw, where Benjamin married Feigele (Vladka) Peltel, a resistance fighter and his companion during the war. The family went to Łódź and after the war ended in early May 1945, they went to Munich, Germany. In May 1946, Benjamin and Feigele sailed for America. Genia emigrated to Palestine in 1946 and Israel and Rivka joined her in 1947.

found:  approximately 1945 January
use:  1945-approximately 1980
found: Warsaw (Poland)
use: Łódź (Poland)
use: Munich (Germany)
use: Israel
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Mezuzah (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Benjamin Meed, in memory of his father Israel Miedzyrzecki (Nahari)
Record last modified: 2023-06-14 07:08:03
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